Wednesday 21 January 2004

By Amy Taylor, Natasha Salari, Clare Jerrom and Alex

Hope for thousands who had children taken away
Thousands of parents who have had their children taken
into care will have their cases reviewed, the government announced
Harriet Harman told MPs that it was not known how many parents had
had their children taken from them as a result of civil care
proceedings in which expert evidence decided the case. There are
thought to be up to 5,000 cases.
Harman said she would ensure that a review of 258 women convicted
of killing their babies was sped up.
Source:- The Times Wednesday 21 January page 7
£150,000: the cost of a wasted youth
Diverting young offenders from a life of crime at an
earlier stage could save the taxpayer at least £80 million a
year, according to a new report from the spending watchdog.
The Audit Commission says that effective intervention in the lives
of potential young criminals could save them from prison and other
expensive regimes.
The report goes on to suggest that alternatives to custody, such as
surveillance programmes, community service and reparation orders,
should be used more often.
Source:- The Daily Telegraph Wednesday 21 January page 4
Call to take on refugee teachers
Schools should recruit refugee teachers to ease staffing shortages,
government advisers have recommended.
The Employability Forum said that taking on some of the hundreds of
refugees with teaching qualifications would be a better option than
looking abroad for staff. Research indicates that one in 10 of
those who had worked in their home country were employed as a
But refugee bodies argue that teachers face hurdles in finding
work, including lack of recognition of overseas teaching
qualifications and of suitable re-qualification schemes.
Source:- The Guardian Wednesday 21 January page 6
Fatal errors?
A double murder on the Isle of Man shocked the community, but were
the victims, one of whom was still in a children’s home, failed by
the care system?
Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 21 January page 2
Recovery just got real
Recovering alcoholics and drug addicts play almost all the parts in
a new drama on life in rehab.
Comfortably Numb tells the story of a group of young addicts on a
recovery programme. It is on Channel 4 on Sunday January 25 at
Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 21 January page 4
Baywatch hits the shops
Disabled drivers monitored disabled parking bays last week to see
how many drivers abused the spaces.
Over 1,000 undercover baywatchers, all of whom are disabled,
watched the use of the spaces in supermarkets across England to see
how well they enforce the reservations.
Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 21 January page 4
Local hero
Hazel Blears tells Alan Travis why she is passionate about giving
communities direct power over the management and financing of
public services
Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 21 January page 6
Cold comfort
How a concerted effort by Hartlepool’s energy team has cut winter
deaths dramatically
Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 21 January page 7
Window of opportunity
Foundation hospitals are starting the election process to
find governors. But has enough time been left for Labour’s great
democratic experiment to work?
Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 21 January page 8
Teen angst
The government says prison is no place for 16-year-old
girls. But the law maintains that they can still be sent to an
adult jail if no place can be found in a secure children’s
Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 21 January page 10
Training daze
Would the establishment of a public service management college
enable the development of a sector-wide pool of leadership
Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 21 January page 14
What else can I do?
Performing arts graduate Rosie, a support working for adults with
learning difficulties wants a new challenge that still utilises her
creative talents
Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 21 January page 148
Scottish newspapers
Scots mother to fight child abuse claims
A Scottish mother accused of attempting to murder her child is
taking legal action to clear her name.
Doctors at Glasgow’s Royal Hospital for Sick Children said
“Mrs X” was trying to kill her son because she had
Munchausen’s syndrome by proxy and, as a result, two of her
children were taken into care.
“Mrs X” and her husband are hoping that the recent case
of Angela Cannings, who was cleared of murdering two of her
children, will add weight to their claims.
The move comes at the start of an urgent review into hundreds of
cases involving parents convicted of killing their babies, casting
doubt on the use of “expert witnesses” in the child
abuse field.
Source:- The Scotsman  Wednesday 21 January
Officials dismiss police fears on bill
The Scottish executive dismissed warnings over the cost of plans to
tackle antisocial behaviour as “misleading”, re-opening
its row with the police.
In a submission to the parliament’s finance committee, the
Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland estimated that
measures in the Antisocial Behaviour Bill would cost police around
£2.2 million – much higher than the executive’s
But the head of the executive’s antisocial behaviour
division, Alistair McIntosh, said that figure included the cost of
seconding officers to councils and ministers had not yet decided
how much funding to provide.
Source:- The Scotsman  Wednesday 21 January
Old fashioned games to beat bullies
A primary school is using old-fashioned playground games in a bid
to tackle problems of bullying.
Children at Parsons Green primary school in Edinburgh are being
urged to swap their computer games for old favourites like
hopscotch, skittles, skipping and tig.
Jean Gardener, the deputy head-teacher, said the initiative offered
children “different experiences of play” and encouraged
group activities to make the children sociable rather than
Source:- The Scotsman  Wednesday 21 January
Schoolgirl gets £20,000 legal aid for bullying

A Scottish teenager has been granted legal aid to bring a test case
for compensation against a local authority for the abuse she claims
she suffered at the hands of classroom bullies.
Natalie King is seeking £20,000 compensation from Aberdeen
Council, her local education authority, for the psychological
damage and trauma she allegedly suffered at Aberdeen’s Dyce
Source:- The Scotsman  Wednesday 21 January
Elderly to be forced from NHS beds
New Scottish executive measures to end bed-blocking could force
older people to move into care accommodation miles from their
Social work and health officials have been told to move older
people into any appropriate care home available after six weeks,
instead of allowing them to wait for a space at a home of their
The move is part of a £30 million drive to reduce delayed
discharges in Scotland.
Source:- The Herald  Wednesday 21 January
Scottish child care cases put under scrutiny
Parents of children taken in care in Scotland because of fears they
might harm them may have their cases re-examined if they are linked
to cot death.
The Scottish Children’s Reporters Association confirmed
yesterday it is to consider reassessing cases that may be linked to
sudden infant death syndrome.
The move follows an announcement from Harriet Harman, solicitor
general for England and Wales, that a review of 258 criminal cases
of parents convicted of killing a child under two years old will be
extended to cover criminal proceedings where children have been
taken from their parents.
Source:- The Herald  Wednesday 21 January
Parents complain of care at nurseries
Scotland’s largest chain of nurseries has been ordered to
improve staffing levels after the ninth complaint against six of
the nurseries were upheld.
The Care Commission confirmed yesterday that it had told managers
of Careshare nurseries to increase staffing levels if they wanted
to retain their registration.
Inspectors are now making weekly checks to ensure the children are
adequately cared for.
Source:- The Herald  Wednesday 21 January
Number of B&B kids on the rise
Record numbers of children are being forced to live in bed and
breakfast accommodation, it emerged yesterday.
According to latest statistics, 248 children are staying in B&B
accommodation with their families, which is the highest figure
since records began.
There are also 148 families in temporary accommodation, up by
almost 40 on the previous six months.
Source:- Daily Record  Wednesday 21 January page 2
Drug gran defiant
A drug-dealing grandmother yesterday pledged to flout an order to
pay £35,000.
The Court of Session ordered Joyce McDiarmid to pay the cash under
tough new laws targeting the proceeds of crime.
But despite signing an agreement last week to pay the money, she
insisted yesterday that she would rather go to prison.
McDiarmid, and her son Stephen, were caught with cannabis worth
Source:- Daily Record  Wednesday 21 January page 9
Stop the stings
Police stings that use children to trap shops selling alcohol to
minors have been banned by Scotland’s top law officer.
Lord Advocate Colin Boyd said he was concerned about the effects of
asking children to deliberately commit crimes.
Source:- Daily Record  Wednesday 21 January page 17
Booze book for parents
The Scottish executive yesterday launched a guide to help
parents discuss the dangers of alcohol with their children
yesterday, amid concerns at the rise of binge drinking in
Source:- Daily Record  Wednesday 21 January page 17
Welsh newspapers
End that cringing terror

A project aimed at tackling domestic violence has been launched in
Caerphilly, south Wales.
The area has a high incidence of domestic abuse and the project
will offer victims the support of lay advocates who will liase with
criminal justice agencies on their behalf.
Source:- South Wales Argus Tuesday 20 January pages 6-7
Man held after runaway girl is found
A schoolgirl from Manchester, who ran way with a man almost twice
her age, has been found safe and well.
Police found 12-year-old Alexandra Howe and Raymond Wilks in
Wilks has now been arrested on suspicion of abduction.
Source:- Western Mail Wednesday 21 January page 1
‘Build homes or Wales to pay’
The House Builder’s Federation are warning the Welsh assembly
that Wales could face the same pressure on housing as the south
east of England, unless more homes are built.
Public sector workers and first time buyers could be squeezed out
of the housing market if action is not taken, they warn.
Source:- Western Mail Wednesday 21 January page 1
MP warns on Assembly’s poor performance on hospital

Former Welsh health minister Jon Owen Jones said the
assembly’s poor record on hospital waiting lists is damaging
the case for devolution.
He said that one way of tackling the problem may be to introduce
fines for local authorities that fail to deal with delayed
Source:- Western Mail Wednesday 21 January page 5

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